126th St. Paul Winter Carnival kicks off Thursday 26 Jan 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The 126th St. Paul Winter Carnival kicks off Thursday, minus a couple of events because of the lack of snow.

A snow sculpture contest at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and sled dog races in White Bear Lake were both canceled.

But the ice carving contest is still on Thursday morning at Rice Park in downtown St. Paul.

The carnival officially kicks off Thursday evening with the Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade. Gov. Mark Dayton will greet the walkers when they reach Rice Park, and flames from hot-air balloons will glow in the night sky.

The 2012 King Boreas will be announced and the Queen of the Snows crowned Friday night at St. Paul RiverCentre. The Grand Day Parade is Saturday afternoon.

The Winter Carnival runs through Feb. 5.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)